Steve Jobs' Lack of License Plate Explained

Photo by IrishEyes/Flickr

ITWire claims to have the truth about how Steve Jobs had no license plate on his Mercedes.

This lack of license plate has drawn a lot of speculation over the years, but no clear answer had been pinned down. ITWire spoke with Jon Callas, who had worked in security roles at Apple. He explained how Jobs got away with it:
Steve (or someone close to him) spotted a loophole in the California vehicle laws. Anyone with a brand new car had a maximum of six months to affix the issued number plate to the vehicle.

So Jobs made an arrangement with the leasing company; he would always change cars during the sixth month of the lease, exchanging one silver Mercedes SL55 AMG for another identical one. At no time would he ever be in a car as old as six months; and thus there was no legal requirement to have the number plates fitted.


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72 months ago
Like a Boss! :D
Rating: 48 Votes
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72 months ago
I guess that is what you do when you have that kind of money.
Rating: 46 Votes
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72 months ago
Hah, clever guy. But why leave the license plate frame on?
Rating: 30 Votes
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72 months ago
He didn't want to be tracked.
Rating: 25 Votes
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72 months ago
Now that it's public, EVERYONE will want to do it!
Rating: 25 Votes
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72 months ago
must be nice never losing that new car smell
Rating: 25 Votes
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72 months ago
Oddly enough, I do the same thing with my cars (no license plate frames tho). I'm fortunate enough to drive company cars and usually only have them for 4-6 months. As the registration sticker that dealers put on the front windshield is good for 6 months I figured it was safe to run without plates. After 4 years of living in CA and not having plates I've only been pulled over and questioned once. My response was 'I've only had the car for 3 months'. The cop's response 'okay'.

Having not grown up in CA, I found the fact that new cars don't have temp plates/tags extremely strange, but it is what it is.
Rating: 22 Votes
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72 months ago
What is the point of not having a license plate?
Rating: 21 Votes
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72 months ago
In the 60 Minutes interview with Walter Isaacson, he has asked Steve about this and Steve replied that he doesn't want to be followed around by paparazzis thinking that a specific license plate number would be identified to him/the car. And Walter have pointed out that having no license plate would make him more noticeable thus making the car more suspicious to which Steve adamantly agreed.

He just wants to be different, I guess
Rating: 20 Votes
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72 months ago
It sounds plausible. He certainly wouldn't have any trouble financially pulling that off.
Rating: 18 Votes
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